With the election of Democratic Senator Ralph Northam to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, many have discussed the possibility that Republicans could pick up the seat, breaking the 20-20 deadlock, and thus provide a second legislative check (the House of Delegates being the first), against McAuliffe administration overstretch.
While that is certainly true and conventional wisdom, there is a far more important reason for Republicans to go “all-in” today and tomorrow in supporting Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman’s candidacy – the fact that for the first time in twenty years the state is without a Republican attorney general.
Why is this important? With the election of Democrat Mark Herring as attorney general, whose seat in Northern Virginia is almost certain to return to the Democrats (especially with Republican John Whitbeck and independent Joe May campaigning for the same voter pool), not only will all legislation pass through this progressive’s office to “be reviewed” for state constitutional muster, but Herring was unequivocal during his campaign that he would “pick and choose” which laws to enforce and which to ignore.
Don’t take my word for it.
During the last stages of the campaign, former Democratic Attorney General Andy Miller (1970-1977) – the same Miller who ran against and defeated Mark Obenshain’s father Richard (“Dick”) Obenshain in the 1969 race for Attorney General – endorsed the only Republican in his life: Mark Obenshain.
“I have seldom seen such a contrast in readiness and willingness to perform the duties of the Attorney General as we have in the race this year. I am a lifelong Democrat and have supported every Democratic candidate for Attorney General since I served from 1970-1977. But Mark Obenshain is the clear choice to lead the Attorney General’s office in a way that respects the oath of office and best serves the people of Virginia.”
“Obenshain’s opponent apparently does not understand the role of the Attorney General in Virginia’s government. I do not recall a nominee for Attorney General who refused to tell Virginians whether he will defend challenges to Virginia’s laws. Having had the privilege to serve as Virginia’s Attorney General for seven years, I know that the Commonwealth needs someone in that position who will uphold her laws and have the courage to keep that commitment, even when it may not be politically expedient,” Miller added.
The bottom-line is that all five statewide offices are now held by Democrats and even other Democrats recognize that these office-holders – the duly elected representatives of all Virginians – willingness to run roughshod over Virginia code. There’s only one way to check them: the Virginia legislature.
So, what can be done at this point in the Coleman campaign? Plenty.
The campaign has a huge GOTV effort going on and could always use more volunteers for what promises to be a record-cold election day tomorrow. Those who call the campaign office at 757.708.8815 will be warmly received and put to good use. Even if you can’t get to Norfolk, Mathews, or the Shore, there are phone calls that can be made remotely and the campaign will find a way to put all volunteers to work. They still need “ride to the polls” people, as well.
If you were disappointed in what happened last November, now is your chance to salvage something. And, certainly if you live nearby in Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, or Mathews County and believe in conservatism, it’s time to step it up or it will be too late.